With a 1-0 win over the Montréal Carabins, the Laval Rouge et Or takes bronze at the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championship in Kingston, Ont.
There were many chances for both teams in the first half, but after 45 minutes the board remained empty. Laval pushed for scoring opportunities and put an impressive eight shots up, but none dropped. As for Montreal, Mia Tessier was their engine. Just as she's been all tournament, Tessier pushed through the congested middle to advance the ball for the Carabins.
When Laval wasn’t dominating the play and laying on the shots, they did an excellent job of holding their back defensive line. With coordination from keeper Anne-Marie Laroche, the Rouge et Or defense played with aggressive style that helped them recover with control.
In the second half, Montreal came out with more ferocity and had multiple free kick opportunities on Laval’s side of half. However, the Rouge et Or continued their defensive style from the start and jammed up the box to prevent these opportunities from following through.
Finally, in the 76th minute, Laval had their opportunity. A corner kick helped them find positioning in Montreal’s end, so when a second corner came moments later, they were already lined up making space for Alexie Porier’s kick to take off from the corner and sail perfectly into the net, put the tournament top seeds up a goal.
Both teams fought extremely hard until the end, with Montreal making any change necessary to help their cause. In the final minutes the Carabins moved their keeper into a striker position and left their net—and end of the field—completely empty. These efforts, however intimidating, could not shake Laval’s lead and the Rouge et Or now return home as bronze medalists.
Nike Team players of the game:
- Montreal: Mia Tessier
- Laval: Alexandra Doucet